Monday Google said that the iRiver Story HD e-reader will be the first in integrating Google's eBooks platform. It officially goes on sale at Target stores nationwide and on Target.com for $139.99 this Sunday, July 17.
"The Story HD is a new milestone for us, as iRiver becomes the first manufacturer to launch an e-reader integrated with Google eBooks," said Pratip Banerji, Product Manager of Google Books. "We built the Google eBooks platform to be open to all publishers, retailers and manufacturers. Manufacturers like iriver can use Google Books APIs and services to connect their devices to the full Google eBooks catalog for out-of-the-box access to a complete ebookstore "
Although the actual specs surrounding the Story HD e-reader are unknown at this point, the gadget looks like Amazon's original Kindle e-reader but with bronze buttons. Banerji describes it as slim, lightweight, and features a high-resolution e-ink screen and a QWERTY keyboard mounted underneath. Built-in Wi-Fi allows the user to access hundreds of thousands of Google eBooks for sale and more than 3 million for free.
"You can also store your personal ebooks library in the cloud—picking up where you left off in any ebook you’re reading as you move from laptop to smartphone to e-reader to tablet," he said.
Google currently offers its online bookstore in a variety ways: through dedicated e-reader apps for iOS and Android platforms, via an app within Google's Chrome web browser, or simply by heading here or here (Android Market) in other browsers.